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Old 21st January 2021, 08:11   #1
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Default Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed

Must-read related article on cheap beater cars

I got my 2006 Maruti 800 on 9th Feb 2019. Here's my experience of the wonderful ownership of this small yet amazing car.

Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-a5d2be0182e941d8b4c226ed73612292.jpeg

Why the second car? - In late 2018, the Spark that we had been using was sold via Cars24. Till the point we sold the car, we thought that we could manage with just one car in the house. But, immediately after she went, we realised how much flexibility having two cars add. The Abarth was being used almost every day and one of us at home had to make do with Uber or public transport. So, in January 2019, I actively started looking for a cheap car.

The Purchase Experience - BHPian asit.kulkarni93 helped me find one in no time. This was also the first time I said yes to any purchase without checking it out in person. He sent me pictures of the 800 and said I've got you your car, now come pick it up. We finalised the deal over phone. The car delivery was scheduled on 9th Feb in Pune and the plan was to drive the car back home to Navi Mumbai the same day. I was a little skeptical of the car's performance, but we got home with no trouble. I, however, realised that the tyres had become pretty hard and they needed to be replaced ASAP. Got new tyres the next day.

Our first car was also the 4-speed 800. It was silver in colour and we did many road trips in her when we used to live in Noida. I think this is the car that got motoring into our family, and especially me.

The Driving fun - The 4-speed 800 is powered by a 796cc 3-cylinder petrol engine rated at 37 BHP. These might not seem very high numbers, but when you consider a kerb weight of just 650 kg, you get a power to weight ratio of 57 BHP / ton. Combine this with the wheels pushed to all the four corners, the car feels like a Go-Kart.

With the freeflow exhaust, it's a joy to rev the car. The car is very easy to use in the city and can be parked in even the smallest of spaces. Even with 4 people on board, the car doesn't get bogged down and can keep up with traffic. Thanks to the good gearing of the gearbox, its easy to drive as well.

I haven't done many highway trips, but have done a couple of Mumbai-Pune runs and once from Ratnagiri to Mumbai. You can drive the car around 80-90 km/h speeds, but it's no match for modern cars. Always best to be aware of the limitations of the vehicle. Handling is better than many modern high ground clearance vehicles. There is no power steering, but its not too bad as well.

This is a car which most likely will never be sold. The maintenance is cheap, its fun to drive, and it brings about a smile on your face every time you drive her.

The first time I saw the car. Asit's Figo is parked beside her:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-img_6343.jpg

Customary delivery pic:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-6482a6109f964b03b5a6e3efa768846f.jpg

First fuel stop at the Mumbai-Pune Expressway:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-066e8ef6e8fc477a9ba0427fbe9e0b3d2.jpg

Maruti 800 was the first real car which brought the automobile closer to the masses, and this 800 was just an iteration of the 800. Design wise, I would say its neutral and inoffensive to all:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-e14288aabbca4a11aad49afe7bef898f.jpeg

Rear 3/4th view. Notice how the crease line on the side merges with the tail lamps:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-4820af2ad45542828bde933dfcee9ca7.jpeg

Clean and functional design at the back:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-bbf6262dee6d4743b250668b133b9fe0.jpeg

I like the indicators in the bumper. The headlights are satisfactory (stock), but I have got 90/100 W bulbs with a relay for better light:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-ad7c17acc9b540ceb6acd993624e5355.jpeg

A close look at the grille - chrome S badge sits in the middle:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-1f9a12d616e24caabaf21bd5eebe6968.jpeg

Simple design headlights. Throw is decent, but this is not a car to do night driving:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-b09c46d0ccb04340b5f1cec2a7b561a9.jpeg

Side indicator is on the front fender just above the front wheels:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-fedb4daceda047b09199e49d6c9af068.jpeg

Yup, thats not the stock exhaust. I had a free flow installed for the lovely sound:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-7e3e387427174007ae54b83e703b5838.jpeg

Simple yet functional interiors. All controls are easy to reach:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-7216a93a6ff447f1a14e56a489f92902.jpeg

Another look at the dash:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-07d73cf938e04ac592ce60cccc3890b1.jpeg

Driver console consists of a speedometer, odo, fuel gauge and a temperature gauge. Warning lights are on the right side. I miss the presence of a trip meter - especially to track distance driven between refills:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-ede7f5aecf9b4b61a7dab35eaea74ed8.jpeg

AC controls are placed just beside the driver console while the music system and the 12V socket is slightly lower down:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-f7813185859f497bb4da98a518768f19.jpeg

Headlight leveller and bonnet release are located on the right side:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-9dc05511be474f69892c89485bf82a67.jpeg

A close look at the single-DIN music player. The bunch of wires beside it is from the dashcam:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-01757460c7624b5fb124f262c9a225ae.jpeg

A largish space to store some knick knacks. I use it to place my 500 ml water bottle here. There are no bottle holders in the car:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-739f6feafd8e4fc1ace751e46c51f6c6.jpeg

Handy "push to open" compartment in the middle is primarily used to store my toll receipts. Thanks to Fastag, this has now reduced quite a bit:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-dfaf9bb19cff4f1bb4a20807342c1b8c.jpeg

Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-fad6ca0093e347a6a65c741a1585ad19.jpeg

Rexine seats are offered as standard on the car. The previous owner had got these seat covers installed. I plan to get some fabric seat covers custom-made in the future:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-68cd23ed6494456ba8fb0ce8a2c7691b.jpeg

2-spoke steering wheel is lovely to hold. It's thinner than most steering wheels, but good to hold nonetheless:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-25e8471a88314d8590726cd0ed1282db.jpeg

Space between the front two seats is very limited. It's possible to brush shoulders with the front passenger when changing gears:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-b8218456d61944378ceac9a97c390e63.jpeg

4-speed gear lever comes with a simple gear knob:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-ab4a1bdcccb24ec2a7dd2d5283db162f.jpeg

Last edited by GTO : 21st January 2021 at 08:13.
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Old 21st January 2021, 08:11   #2
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Thin A-pillars are good for visibility. The painted panels bring in colour on the insides. The wire is for the dashcam:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-6e66868d2c574c318522d5533c0167be.jpeg

Small ORVM is manually adjusted, I would have preferred a size bigger for better visibility:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-1b8cc9ec8aab47c6962e88b090feacc6.jpeg

IRVM covers the rear windshield completely. Thanks to the small size, you are always aware of your surroundings:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-d4901a0527b94025bbe951c14292207b.jpeg

Here's how the warnings light up on the console:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-58d3f2aae25c47b5b8efc4850ae2f4ea.jpeg

The left stalk controls the wipers...
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-1eb4c63982cc40008be3944153210b2a.jpeg

...while the right one handles the lights:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-2d3447dd4ce3449f8e4d2347f208316b.jpeg

Pedal spacing is spot on. You can comfortably do left foot braking and heel and toe. No dead pedal, but there is sufficient space to rest your left leg:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-1b9ceb7496a84b719174974e0a52b706.jpeg

The engine bay:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-e13e40491b0e42b59ac7694e901cc79f.jpeg

3-cylinder motor might feel weak on paper, but is infact very fun to drive:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-df9fe15336c04866a954e4468ec82ea6.jpeg

No hood insulation provided:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-2e798679ef4f4007a65104e295181881.jpeg

Rear seats are suitable for 2 rather than 3. Also, if the front guys are tall, you might get very less leg space:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-38aca01c8b0d41eab5535703f001fb9d.jpeg

Backrest is placed at a comfortable angle and comes with integrated head rests:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-8554ada94f52472bab2dd86669de2b97.jpeg

Seat back pockets thanks to the seat covers:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-f72da6bd1a1c42d7b36e1d9852fa8ab7.jpeg

Boot space is nothing home to write about. But the previous owner installed these nice custom made speakers:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-3def31a7b08a40a0a8a7e63632f2f5d5.jpeg

I usually keep a box to store things as there is no parcel tray hiding the contents on the boot:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-98aa498f84d241b891b0d80936af85f7.jpeg

Viofo A119 dashcam I picked up in 2015. The camera is going strong even today:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-ddabd7698b4146ec8d920b432f424f38.jpeg

Fuel cap needs to be opened with the car key. Takes in about 20L at every refill:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-e89215ab8e20469a8888eb502231e861.jpeg

Other Points:

Its easy to slide from driver seat to passenger seat thanks to no obstructions. Comes in handy if another car is blocking your door:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-a58d7fc36b104b18bbe33b22d346fb14.jpeg

Dual tone design on the door pads. Only the front passenger gets the thin door pocket:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-c15083c7374e418bbe485e141ef0f697.jpeg

Pull-type hazard light switch:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-bae2c6dc8fc64f8fb9c97c820ed0d3db.jpeg

Simple sun visor:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-9ee45b1e22d44d4eabaa0a22fcebf9f7.jpeg

Manual window rollers on all doors and pull type door locks located near the B pillar edge:
Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-6b429f9e31d5459b925cd66d229a3761.jpeg

Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-91d892a82b7449a68c4ea3e2997dae0d.jpeg

I would like to share a couple of videos of the Freeflow exhaust -

Its not a free flow if you can't trigger a car's alarm:


Here's one from inside a tunnel:


Signing off, here are some points I like about the car
- Fun to drive
- Perfect for driving in the city
- Easy on the pocket
- Brings a smile on your face everytime you drive
- Perfect beater car for new drivers
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Old 21st January 2021, 08:19   #3
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Default Re: Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Reviews section. Thanks for sharing!

Congrats on owning the most iconic car ever sold in India, Kanad! My favourite part of your review is the freeflow video .
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Old 21st January 2021, 08:34   #4
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Default Re: Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed

Wow. Your story is so similar to mine. I have been driving a friend's M800 since few months. Amazing little car.
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Old 21st January 2021, 08:52   #5
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Default Re: Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed

Congrats. The car just needs some interior cleaning and exterior polish. Of course those new seat covers you mentioned too. A nice set of alloys if you can find will look cool too.
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Old 21st January 2021, 09:34   #6
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Default Re: Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed

My friend has a Zen MPFI 2003, which is un-used for 2 years. He is willing to sell it for 30k (currently using it for occupying parking in the building). I am very tempted to re-purchase the car (which he purchased from me when I moved to Bangalore).

Its a Red color zen with genuine 30k on the ODO and new tyres (with barely 2-3k mileage and tenure, of course).
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Old 21st January 2021, 10:34   #7
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Default Re: Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed

Super! You got it for around the same amount of money number wise as the Mk1 800 I guess. We had a similar one for a brief period as a second car.

In my experience the alternator did not last much after the 100/90 upgrade, had to overhaul it and change the battery soon afterwards, maybe it was due to the car being used exclusively in the city traffic with AC on.

Does this have a brake booster? Mine didn't, not that it needed it. But I hear some got it fitted afterwards.
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Old 21st January 2021, 12:35   #8
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Default Re: Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed

Congratulations on the purchase!

Any reason why you didn't consider the Zen, which has
-An extra cylinder
-An extra gear
-More space
-More Go-kartish (My personal views)
-More power, obviously
-More mod potential
-Maybe better looking(?)
-More features on VX and VXi trims

And they cost nearly the same too! (I have no idea of the pricing in Mumbai)

Last edited by Govardhansupra : 21st January 2021 at 12:38.
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Old 21st January 2021, 13:27   #9
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Default Re: Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed

Nothing as go kart like as an 800 .

We went to the village recently and after stepping out of the Safari, I drove the 800 on the twisty back roads and was amazed at how fun it was. The handling is PERFECT and the engine is makkhan!!

After driving a safari, any car's handling is good, but this one takes it to different levels!
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Old 21st January 2021, 16:31   #10
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Default Re: Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed

This cute little thing is a steal !

Give it some detailing, realign the upholstery and you are good to go. Ease of parking it anywhere, Servicing it almost anywhere, and the perfect city runabout dimensions to chuck it around tight roads.

At 50k, if fuel expense & parking is not a worry why get a new 2 wheeler ?

Last edited by TrackDay : 21st January 2021 at 16:32.
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Old 21st January 2021, 18:24   #11
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Default Re: Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed

Great buy. The CNG version of this was cheaper than an Activa to run. This and the Nano are two great alternatives to unsafe 2 wheelers.
Wishing you many happy kilometers with this.
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Old 21st January 2021, 18:35   #12
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Default Re: Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed

Yes @blackwasp fully agree with you that is was the best city car for urban commute. Congratulations for your new buy and wishing you happy driving and a happy ownership experience.

In fact, it's with me since 1987 and is still going strong. My only reservation to use the word "was" in the first sentence is because in today's traffic it's too tiny among all four and even some three wheelers in the city's traffic. During drives, every other car feels larger in size, while peeping out from the windscreen or side windows. The Tata Nano we felt would outsell many other cars and become another Maruti 800 sized prodigy on the roads, but that was not to be. Hence Maruti 800 remains among the tiniest of all, but for the Tata Nanos in sparse numbers. Thankfully, we still get all spares through MGP.

Hence, at times I feel insecure while driving this little, very much loved, very dependable, frugal, least demanding, spartan and basic car of mine, that has endured with me for more than three decades. But it stays with me, is sparingly used these days and will continue to stay forever.

I can recollect Mr R.C.Bhargava more than two decades ago saying that the Maruti 800 is safer than a two wheeler. This was when he was asked by the media about the safety concerns in the light of so many accidents injuring or killing so many M 800 occupants.

Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-img_20190517_121408298.jpg

My much loved M 800

Name:  Last Maruti 800.jpg
Views: 8367
Size:  95.1 KB

The last one to roll out from MSIL on 18 January 2014

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 21st January 2021 at 18:44.
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Old 22nd January 2021, 05:59   #13
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Default Re: Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackwasp View Post
Signing off, here are some points I like about the car
- Fun to drive
- Perfect for driving in the city
- Easy on the pocket
- Brings a smile on your face everytime you drive
- Perfect beater car for new drivers
Nostalgia hit me harder than I had expected. :')
Kudos @blackwasp! Brilliantly written and eternally captured.

I just went down memory lane with each image when I was just a little kid trying to gauge whether I should gnaw into this or that part, or smack something to see what happens. Oh yes, also trying to make the most of this portable playground.
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Old 22nd January 2021, 09:35   #14
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Default Re: Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed

Undeniably the 800 and Zen are nostalgic and their value for money quotient is unbeatable. My 2002 zen which I purchased in 2014 and sold in 2017 was fuss free , did 20K KMs , costed me all of 10K to maintain in the three years despite a petrol pump accidentally filling in diesel. I would like to own one again some day, especially the zen 2 door variant.
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Old 22nd January 2021, 09:51   #15
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Default Re: Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed

Every time I drive your car, I feel like getting one. On our way back from Ratnagiri, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to your 800ís exhaust through the ghats. This one is a keeper. Glad I could be of help in finding it. Attaching a few pics.

Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-70a2064ebf2740d3b7a7a79fdc104356.jpeg

Perfect city car for Rs 50,000 only | My Maruti 800 4-speed-d637e9778ee84c25b1f6d9193d350405.jpeg
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